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Aug 22, 2012

Oceana fights 6 oil concessions in Court

Herbert Panton

Oceana went back to court today to fight six slick oil contracts. Oceana insists that the contracts granted to Island Oil Belize, Tropical Energy, PetroBelize Company, Princess Petroleum, Providence Energy Belize, and Sol Oil Belize Ltd. are invalid since they fall short of the conditions under the Petroleum Act.  On July twenty-fifth, arguments were first heard in the case against the Ministry of Natural Resources. In making their submissions, Oceana’s attorney, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, had relied upon a recent Court of Appeal decision as the legal precedent to resolve the matter, while government’s attorney, Herbert Panton, made an application to have the claim entirely dismissed. The case was adjourned when Justice Oswell Legall informed both parties that he wasn’t convinced by their arguments. This morning the hearing resumed and submissions were made concerning the Public Authorities Protection Act, in light of the aforementioned Court of Appeal’s decision.  Representing the government is attorney Herbert Panton.

 

Herbert Panton, Attorney for Government

“The Court of Appeal decision says that the Public Authorities Protection Act which is a piece of law that says you must give a public body notice, thirty days notice, before you bring an action.  The Court of Appeal decision says that the Public Authorities Protection Act does not apply to judicial review proceedings.  This matter before us, this Oceana claim is not a judicial review proceeding.  That is our fundamental position, so that the Public Authorities Protection Act does apply and so the one month notice ought to be given and under those circumstances the limitation act applies and the limitation act says you must bring an action within one year from the date when your right to bring that action came forth.  If you don’t bring an action within one year of that then the matter ought to be struck out.  In the case of Oceana, these contracts were signed in 2007, Oceana was incorporated in 2009.  Oceana brought this claim in 2011.  I think we can all do the math there.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now, in the last session before Justice Legall he said that he needed to be persuaded by both sides with regards to this particular matter.  Do you believe, at this point in time, the argument being put forward on your behalf is a cogent one?”

 

Herbert Panton

“Well, I wouldn’t be standing here if I didn’t and he has reserved his judgment for Friday of this week and we do believe that on that day our arguments will be vindicated.”

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4 Responses for “Oceana fights 6 oil concessions in Court”

  1. Uncle Benji says:

    People, peasants and buffoons! We need to make up our minds. Do we want to grow as a nation, or sit in the dark forever?

    It is 2012, and we are still fussing about oil drilling. Good Gawd, Belize has oil. You know it and I know it. Let’s start drilling, become self sufficient, and sell our surpluses.

    Oceana? Who the hell are these people? How much have they contributed to our country’s economy in 2011? How much?

  2. Storm says:

    If we have offshore oil, I think we should develop it on 4 conditions: [1] develop it only if the development does not interfere with the reef or other protected areas, [2] only if it is done and maintained according to the highest international safety standards, with no short-cuts, [3] adequate insurance to pay for damages and clean-up in case of an accident, and [4] that the royalties to the nation be fair and adequate. Without substantial royalties to our treasury, there is no reason to use a national resource to enrich private companies.

    Oh, I would add one more condition: no share ownership by any government official or their families.

  3. Belizean says:

    Right Benji!!! Who the hell are these people?

  4. Josephino Estroberto Pesomedio says:

    A GREAT thank you MR. Storm , really thank you, we need good thinker and well informed people like you to come forth.
    Of course we need the royalties for Belizeans, not for a GOV official etc.
    In Mexico they say that Mexico is for Mexicans, no matter their present problems, but it is so. When will we be able to say that Belize is for Belizeans?????????????????????????????
    Oceana??? go kiss *&*&*** , we need money, what have you Oceana done for us??????

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